J500 Media and the Environment

A beggar mentality by denzylj
April 8, 2008, 12:24 pm
Filed under: Nature + Travel | Tags: , , ,

Strolling through the Wyandotte County Lake Park, I heard a loud Canadian accent that echoed for miles across the 400-acre expanse of water. It was constant and intrusive and soon the spring cheer gave way to irritation at the noisy disruption to the tranquil setting. As the sound drew closer, it became hard to resist the urge for a confrontation. I looked around for something to hurl. Sticks, stones, words … . Breadcrumbs?

Yes, maybe that should do it. Except, crumbs don’t hurt, or do they? Well, the Parks and Recreation Department says that feeding the Canada Geese the wrong food can be harmful, and “fosters a ‘beggar’ mentality.” Still, it seemed a way to placate their honks. But feeding wild animals food of any sort poses more harm than good. The geese congregate close to where picknickers gather and their loud pleas suggest they want to be fed whatever leftovers tossed at them. But, eating the “wrong” food can only be bad for their regular diet and such close interaction with humans causes traffic and safety hazards, according to Parks and Recreation.

Just like the chacma baboons found in Southern Africa who’ve become so used to humans that they’re a constant nuisance. Troops have been known to raid homes and restaurants and attacks on tourists and residents have become commonplace – all because of people having fed the primates over the years.

What many have failed to understand is that whether it’s the chacmas or Canadian geese, they don’t need to survive off the scraps thrown at them. Admittedly, animal food sources are being depleted by rapid urbanization, but that doesn’t mean we have to toss a piece of bread whenever we see a duck or a banana in the case of a monkey or baboon.

With all the good intentions that people have, the premise we should operate from is that animals have their own highly specialized diets and that saying no to feeding them helps more than hinders.



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Great post. I was not sure where you were going with the Canadians. And of course we can look at the increasing rates of obesity in countries that have adopted a Western diet and see that people should have specialized diets, too.

Comment by j500

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